Question: What good is a compass if the iPad Wifi model doesn't have GPS?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by melman101, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #1
    As the topic leads on:

    What good is a compass on the iPad Wifi model when it doesn't have GPS?

    Just wondering if anyone has any ideas.
     
  2. sfmountainbiker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #2
    A compass will tell you what direction you are facing. It's what "old timers" used to use to orient (sorry for the unpreferred nomenclature there) themselves.
     
  3. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #3
    Think about what people did before GPS. How would having a compass help them? I am sure you will find your answer.
     
  4. melman101 thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #4
    Well I understand that, but I mean, I don't see whipping out an iPad just to find out what direction you are facing.
     
  5. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #5
    You find yourself lost in the woods, all that's with you is a fully charged iPad. Ten hours later, you have found your way home.
     
  6. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    So your question is really: What is the point of an iPad having a compass?
     
  7. melman101 thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #7
    Sure.

    ---------------------

    The woods thing, I guess so. But I really don't think thats why they put that in there. Plus, if you were really camping, I'd guess you'd probably have a real compass then relying on one that could die in 10 hours? Maybe I'm wrong :).
     
  8. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    Well, it is a great mystery then.

    More seriously. What is the point of an iPhone having a compass? It is a separate app, and the results of the compass don't seem to enhance the Maps app or GPS data.

    So it seems like GPS and a Compass together in the same device is worthless, no? So why not have a compass in a device that doesn't have GPS?
     
  9. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #9
    Is there a legal restriction for GPS devices in-car? I'd imagine 9.7" is against the law in at least California.
     
  10. hobbbz macrumors 6502a

    hobbbz

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    #10
    In the maps app if you click the blue dot it tells you what direction you're facing and shows what road you're on. That is very useful.
     
  11. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    That doesn't work on my fiancee's 3Gs...

    It seems that you tap the locate button twice, which gives you the direction.
     
  12. colmaclean macrumors 68000

    colmaclean

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Berlin
    #12
    Apps which rely on knowing the direction the iPad's being held will need a compass.

    One example is an app I use on the iPhone - Distant Suns. It displays a representation of the night sky in the direction you are pointing your phone.

    The only thing with having no GPS is you'll have to tell it where on Earth you're standing.
     
  13. hobbbz macrumors 6502a

    hobbbz

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    #13
    Crap I meant if you click on the target icon (once to show the blue dot, once again to show direction)
     
  14. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    See my edit. If I would have taken my 3Gs upgrade instead of buying an HTC Hero I would have probably known that :D
     
  15. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #15
    Why? I've seen larger in dash screens for GPS.

    If you're watching videos fo texting on it, then you'd get in trouble.
     
  16. bobsentell macrumors 6502a

    bobsentell

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Alabama
    #16
    9.7" is perfectly legal as long as it doesn't obstruct your view nor is a distraction.

    That said...it's probably one of those things your probably may not want to do.
     
  17. railgrab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    #17
    answer- augmented reality gaming!

    Well, once the iPad gets an embedded projector (or you hook it up to a pico projector), you will be able to play games which allow you to maneuver around 360 degrees! This could revolutionize gaming. Search for Microvision's laser gaming gun to see what I mean.
     
  18. undrpsi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gastonia, NC
    #18
    Jeez...runs as part of location services for some apps.

    GoSkyWatch makes you wave it in figure 8's to get your compass heading then displays the starfield based on time/date/.

    There are several apps that use this...and it's used with the 'simulated' GPS (wifi) which works fairly well in my area..YMMV
     
  19. palz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    #19
    LOL. Well I guess they left it out cause the ipad is not an iphone 3gs.

    That's why the iPod touch 3G has no compass or battery percent. Because apple 'reserves' that for their "magical" phone.
     
  20. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #20
    There's a compass on the iPad? Where's the app for it? The 3Gs has a compass app... Is there one for the iPad that is hidden?

    Also, what good is 'assisted GPS' on the iPad 3G? Doesn't that mean that it doesn't really have a 'GPS receiver' but fakes it through your spatial distances from cell towers? Can't they call it, if that is what it is, something more truthful like 'Triangulation' or 'slightly better than your husband's directions'? I mean, come on... I can get something the size of a watch that has 'true GPS' and a real receiver and is pretty damned accurate and what does the iPad do???

    First thought that I had (well, maybe not THE first) was how blissfully outrageous maps on the iPad would look with true GPS... It *could* put Garmin out of business...
     
  21. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #21
    There's an app called Star Walk. It shows you where stars, planets, constellations, etc. are located in the sky. My iPhone version doesn't seem to lock on a direction using the compass, but I can use the compass app to find out which way I'm facing. That's exactly what I did to get my bearings for where I was looking.

    So that's one use. The compass part is probably so cheap that Apple just threw it in there for the heck of it. I think it's technically called a magnometer. Maybe in the future even the WiFi iPad will have a GPS chip.
     
  22. samcraig macrumors P6

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #22
    the compass will also be used (eventually) by some innovative app developers combined with the accelerometers for games which can determine which direction you are facing - not just up, down, left, right, etc
     
  23. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #23
    Magnetometer...

    I just had a thought: Will the 3Gs Compass app work on the iPad... Hmm...
     
  24. Siguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #24
    Actually it is "true GPS" or whatever phrase you'd use. It just uses cell towers to find a general position quickly before using the satellite for the more precise location. In my experience it's much better than something like a handheld Garmin which can totally freak out and take minutes to find itself if you, say, turn it off in California then turn it back on again halfway across the country.
     
  25. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #25
    No. The 'app' is enabled in the Settings area...
     

Share This Page